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Dental Bridges

Are you contemplating a dental bridge and wondering if they are a lasting solution to tooth loss? The answer can significantly impact your decision when considering dental restorations.

In this blog post, we’ll talk about the permanence of dental bridges, discuss the factors that influence their lifespan, and explore the types of bridges available and the materials used. Whether you’re looking to restore your smile or protect against potential oral health issues, understanding the permanency of dental bridges is key.

Read on to learn how dental bridges might be the answer to your dental needs. 

Are Dental Bridges Permanent?

Dental bridges are a long-term, but not life-long, solution to replace missing teeth, typically lasting 5 to 15 years with proper care.

Your dentist will fit artificial teeth anchored to natural teeth or adjacent teeth implants on either side of the dental bridge. Unlike a temporary bridge that’s used for short spans, a permanent bridge is designed to blend in with your smile and handle daily use. When comparing a dental bridge to alternatives like a partial denture, the benefits are clear: they offer a more stable and aesthetically pleasing solution.

The longevity of a bridge depends on maintaining excellent oral hygiene to prevent issues such as gum disease or tooth decay, which can undermine the supporting teeth. During the dental bridge procedure, your dentist will take teeth impressions to ensure a custom fit.

With advantages that include improved chewing and a natural appearance, a bridge, particularly when it’s the right type of bridge for your situation and accompanied by diligent oral health care, is a great solution for missing teeth.

How Dental Bridges Function

Dental bridges serve as a permanent fixture to replace a single tooth or several teeth, offering an alternative solution to dentures.

Anchored onto remaining teeth or implants, they are secured with dental cement and designed to match your natural bone structure, providing stability and a natural look. Unlike a removable bridge, they remain fixed in the mouth and require the same standard oral care as natural teeth.

Different Types of Dental Bridges

Traditional, implant-supported, and cantilever bridges offer different solutions for tooth replacement.

Traditional Bridges

Traditional bridges are the most common type of dental bridges. They involve a false tooth held in place by abutment teeth on either side. They are a reliable permanent solution for a healthy tooth replacement.

Implant-Supported Bridges

Implant-supported bridges use an implant for every replacement tooth, offering enhanced stability without having to rely on existing teeth which is beneficial for overall dental health.

Cantilever Bridges

Cantilever bridges only require one abutment tooth, which is suitable when there’s only one healthy tooth next to the gap. These bridges may be considered during a dental visit because of their specific application.

Each type of dental bridge offers a unique approach to restoring your smile, tailored to meet individual dental health needs and preferences.

Factors That Determine the Durability of Dental Bridges

The durability of a dental bridge largely depends on material quality, placement technique, and patient oral care habits. While bridges can effectively function like permanent teeth, their longevity varies based on several key factors:

  • Material Choice: Dental bridges are crafted from various materials, including porcelain, ceramics, and metals. The chosen material can significantly impact the wear and durability of the bridge.
  • Dental Hygiene: Good dental hygiene practices are critical. Brushing twice a day, regularly flossing, and using an antiseptic mouthwash can prevent plaque build-up that might lead to bridge failure.
  • Diet: Consuming a lot of sticky foods can be a risk factor. They can pull at the bridge and weaken its structural integrity over time.
  • Oral Habits: Teeth grinding or clenching can exert extra pressure on the bridge, causing potential damage.
  • Regular Visits: Scheduling regular visits to the dentist ensures early detection of problems and maintenance of overall dental health.
  • Underlying Dental Issues: Conditions like gum disease or decay in the abutment teeth can affect the stability of the bridge, necessitating additional dental treatments.
  • Treatment Options: Initially, the choice of treatment options—whether a traditional bridge, cantilever, or implant-supported bridge—will influence the outcome and durability.

To maximize the lifespan of a dental bridge, patients must commit to rigorous oral care and consult their dentist for tailored advice on maintaining their specific type of bridge. Proactive management and lifestyle choices play a significant role in ensuring the lasting function and appearance of dental bridges.

Material Matters: Which Lasts the Longest?

When it comes to the longevity of dental bridges, the material used is a crucial determinant—zirconia bridges generally last the longest. Here’s how different materials stack up:

  • Porcelain Bridges: Porcelain is popular because of its aesthetic appeal, closely mimicking the look of natural teeth. While durable, porcelain can chip or crack over time, especially in individuals who grind their teeth. Porcelain bridges often have a lifespan similar to or slightly less than zirconia which is usually around 10-15 years with proper care.
  • Metal Bridges: Known for their exceptional strength and durability, metal bridges, often made from alloys containing gold, chromium, or nickel, are less likely to break or chip compared to porcelain. They are an excellent choice for replacing molars due to the heavy bite forces they endure and they can last well over 15 years.
  • Zirconia Bridges: Zirconia is renowned for its strength and durability, often outlasting other materials. It resists staining, withstands biting forces, and requires less tooth removal than other types. A well-maintained zirconia bridge can function effectively for 20 years or more.
  • Composite Resin Bridges: Although an affordable option, composite resin bridges don’t typically last as long as their porcelain or metal counterparts. Composite resin bridges usually last around 5-7 years. They are more prone to wear and staining and might be used for temporary or transitional bridging rather than as a long-term solution.

Each material presents a balance between strength, aesthetics, and cost, so the ideal choice for a dental bridge also depends on the individual’s specific needs and circumstances. Consistent visits to the dentist and excellent oral hygiene habits are essential to extend the life of any bridge, regardless of material.

Explore Your Dental Bridge Options at TLC Dental

At TLC Dental, we understand the importance of a full, healthy smile. Dental bridges not only enhance your smile but also safeguard your oral health by protecting vulnerable gums from disease and injury after tooth loss.

Under the experienced care of Dr. Hoffenberg, TLC Dental tailors bridge treatments to your unique needs including filing down adjacent teeth for crown fitting and employing implants for added support. Securely bonded and aesthetically pleasing, your new bridge will allow you to continue life as usual with confidence.

To explore the best treatment options for your smile, contact TLC Dental at (02) 8599 7107 and schedule your appointment today.